musclecars – Sugar Honey Iced Tea!

For New York-based DJs and producers Brandon Weems and Craig Handfield, history is a lens through which to view the present. Their popular Coloring Lessons events are rooted in homage – recalling the culture and approach of formative house events like The Loft and clubs like Shelter, while remaining in conversation with the zeitgeist. As musclecars, the duo is best known for their pumping house sets which reconnect the style to its Black American roots, and on their debut album, they push these connections even further. 


On the cunningly titled Sugar Honey Iced Tea!, the past becomes a mirror for musclecars to reflect and ruminate on contemporary American Blackness. Inspired by abstractions of the quotidian, musclecars subvert the conventions of house music, and hitherto their own. While the unmistakable four-on-the-floor of house forms an essential part of the equation, Sugar Honey Iced Tea! is a sum of many parts. The common thread here is a commitment to exploring and excavating sounds that define the mise-en-scene of the multifaceted Black American experience. Fragments of the iconic ‘HA!’ punctuate the psychedelic neo-soul of Every Party Must Come To An End, while a focus on jazz and its multitudes is present throughout, particularly on tracks like Water.



This genre (and generational) fluidity is brilliantly executed. There’s a sense of deep consideration to the sonic palette that musclecars assemble here that feels organic, and consequently profoundly genuine. The result is a meticulously crafted and alarmingly nuanced  journey into the emotional intricacies of diasporic existence, and the inevitable creolisation of a culture inserted into an alien land. 


Download / stream Sugar Honey Iced Tea! here